Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Guest Post-Green Peas.

Green Peas
By Guest Blogger, Jo Pavlov

They say the sense of smell is the one most closely related to memory, and that a smell can bring back a time and place faster than anything.  My sister and I both agree that the horrid smell of cooked canned peas brings us right back to our childhood kitchen and our near-lifelong distaste for the vegetable.  Or should I say the canned, cooked version of the thing.
My father would heat them up in a pot on the stove, and I vividly remember them being there most days.  The smell bowled me over.  We couldn't understand how he liked them.  We never even tried them, not once.

We weren't unlike those kids you see on that Jamie Oliver show set in West Virginia... the one where the kids fail to identify the most basic vegetables because they've never seen them before.  We grew up in an Eastern European immigrant family where boiled cabbage, pickled beets and roasted potatoes were pretty much the only veggies we ever saw, and we hated them all.  If you recall my blog postings from last summer, I learned to LOVE raw cabbage and properly baked beets, and realized that the old country way of boiling a food within an inch of its life and until all flavour is gone was only one way of dealing with veggies.
I picked up my first basket of the season last week and was DELIGHTED to find the Crackerjack prize at the bottom of the basket... peas.  And I'll be honest... I don't know if they are snap peas?  Snow peas?  Green peas?  All I know is that they only come around for a brief period at the end of spring, and like green beans, I gobble them up raw until they are gone.  I get giddy when I see them and my second reaction is one of dread... that they won't last long and I'll have to wait a full year until I see them again.  Must be how fiddlehead fans feel.  I try and savour the moment and just enjoy each delicious bite but it's hard when I know they are fleeting.
I honestly didn't know they came in that shade of green.  Crisp.  Light.  New.  Sprout-like.  My childhood memories of that dark green-brown mushy slop in the pot are fading fast...

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